Pat Tillman's Brother, Kevin, and his Mother, Mary, testified before Henry Waxman's committee in congress today.
Pat Tillman's brother accused the military Tuesday of "intentional falsehoods" and "deliberate and careful misrepresentations" in portraying the football star's death in Afghanistan as the result of heroic engagement with the enemy instead of friendly fire.
"We believe this narrative was intended to deceive the family but more importantly the American public," Kevin Tillman told a hearing of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee. "Pat's death was clearly the result of fratricide," he said.
"Revealing that Pat's death was a fratricide would have been yet another political disaster in a month of political disasters ... so the truth needed to be suppressed," said Tillman, who was in a convoy behind his brother when the incident happened three years ago but didn't see it.
He said the Tillman family has sought for years to get at the truth about Pat Tillman's death.
"We have now concluded that our efforts are being actively thwarted by powers that are more interested in protecting a narrative than getting at the truth and seeing justice is served," he said.
The doctor who treated Jessica lynch reported that he was required to sign a statement agreeing not to talk about her. This was not something he'd been asked to do for other patients.
Waxman said, "The government violated its most basic responsibility."
The reports by the Tillman family brought me to tears, and then to feelings of such disgust and anger-- and these were military people who made these decisions. You have to blame the generals at the top and Bush. Tillman's mother says, "In every way they're dodging us."At this point in the hearing, I began recording and trascribing key statements in the ongoing hearings, Mary Tillman spoke in response to question. . It brought tears to my eyes.
This is about what they did to Pat as if what they did to a nation.... this is evidence that something really awful happened. It's your job to find out what happened. Pat died for this country and he believed that it had a system that worked.
By making up these false stories, they are diminishing their true heroism... It may not be pretty. It may not be out of a John Wayne movie, but that's not war is all about. It's ugly, it's bloody, it's painful. It really is a disservice to the nation
The nation needs to realize this is an ugly war. Everyone needs to be a part of it. Everyone should understand what's going on. We shouln't be allowed to have a smokescreen thrown in our face.
Later, in response to further questions, Mary Tillman said,
We've all been betrayed. Every time they betray a soldier, they betray all of us. "
We never that they would use him they way they did.... But they definitely used him.
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